Since many of you can’t probably keep up with all the Kurosawa remakes that are happening at the moment, I decided to compile a list of titles in planning or production right now. The films are listed in an approximate order of release.
Ikiru: A made-for-TV remake by TV Asahi, which
may in fact already have aired has in fact already aired. Matsumoto Koshiro IX has stepped into Takashi Shimura’s shoes for the main role, and the story has been adapted to take place in the present day. Shooting wrapped in May, and the film was reportedly going to air “sometime this autumn” aired earlier this autumn. The official website can be found at TV Asahi, where you can also buy the DVD.
High and Low: Similarly to the above-mentioned Ikiru, TV Asahi announced last spring that it was working on a TV remake of High and Low. As with Ikiru, the story has apparently been brought from post-war Japan to the present day. The story has also been written to happen in Hokkaido. Written and directed by Yasuo Tsuruhashi, and starring Koichi Sato, Hiroshi Abe, Kyoka Suzuki and Ken Watanabe’s model daughter Anne Watanabe, this production
may have already aired, as it was supposed to be shown “sometime this autumn” aired earlier this autumn. Its website can be found here, where you can also buy the DVD.
Sanjuro: Having its Japanese release on the 1st of December, this Yoshimitsu Morita remake of Sanjuro (with its Japanese title Tsubaki Sanjuro) has been much discussed here. Posters, trailers and other information can be found from the official website (which has by the way been updated — what’s with all the bling?). The full cast and crew listings are available at IMDb. While at least some of us have kept their hopes up that the release might turn out to be at least watchable, the early indications from trailers and posters seem to suggest that Yuji Oda is not Toshiro Mifune however hard he tries, and that the comedy in the film is far less subtle and unrefined than in the original. It shall be seen whether these fears turn out to be justified, or is it all just a case of a very poorly executed marketing campaign…
The Hidden Fortress: Shooting from November 2007, release in Japan on May 10, 2008. Directed by Shinji Higuchi, starring Jun Matsumoto, Masami Nagasawa, Hiroshi Abe and Daisuke Miyagawa. Penned by Kazuki Nakashima. One of the peasants, rather than the general, has reportedly been made the story’s protagonist.
Seven Samurai: A much-rumoured Hollywood remake by the Weinstein Company. and Kurosawa Production. The latest we know is that the movie might be called Seventh Samurai (although the IMDb page lists it as The Seven Samurai), and that directors Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) and Wayne Kramer (The Cooler, Running Scared, Crossing Over) are allegedly being considered to helm the production. Earlier this year, John Fusco, known for writing a number of westerns including Young Guns, Thunderheart Hidalgo, was mentioned as being working on the screenplay. Donnie Yen and Zhang Ziyi are meanwhile reported to be in front of the camera, with early rumours also suggested involvement from George Clooney. Take everything with a grain of salt.
Ikiru: Earlier this year rumours circulated that Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father, My Left Foot) would be considering directing a remake of Ikiru. Nothing has been heard of the project since.
Did I miss something?